EcoTrack 11: Citizen scientists on patrol - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

EcoTrack 11: Citizen scientists on patrol

"I really enjoy the comradery of the other volunteers, and the people who are concerned about the environment," Barb Opfer says. "I really enjoy the comradery of the other volunteers, and the people who are concerned about the environment," Barb Opfer says.

Report by Chris Vickers - email | bio

Posted by LS

Most people care about the environment, but for some local residents they have taken an extra step and volunteered their time.

The Old Woman Creek watershed is now a healthier habitat thanks to a group of citizen scientists.

The protection of our local watersheds is vital to the health of the entire ecosystem. When problems arise people begin to notice and take action.

"Two years in a row actually, we had a fish kill... We have a small tributary like this that goes past our house, and we had a fish kill. It actually continued uptown and through the Old Woman Creek system," Volunteer Scientist Barb Opfer tells us.

That sure got barb's attention and she decided to do something about it. She dedicated her time as a volunteer, monitoring the water quality in the Old Woman Creek watershed.

"I really enjoy the comradery of the other volunteers, and the people who are concerned about the environment," Opfer says.

The goal is to make people like Barb more than a volunteer.

"What we try to do with creating a volunteer monitoring program is really create the feeling you are a citizen scientist to us. You are performing. You are learning new skill sets, and you're really participating... collecting the data," says Watershed Coordinator Breann Hohman.

This may open your eyes to a new view on your environment.

The importance of a program like this is it gets volunteers involved and promotes understanding of the local environment.

All looks good now in the Old Woman Creek, but watchful eyes and careful testing make sure it stays that way.

Hohman tells us, "The whole idea is 'How can we live in our communities and be sustainable with the water around us?'

More on EcoTrack 11

The environment is ours to enjoy, but also ours to watch over and care for. You can find many resources on WTOL's EcoTrack 11 site.

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